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Reboot: G is for Group Sex

Please enjoy again: G is for group sex.

Hi everyone!  Welcome to the A to Z of Sex.  I’m Dr Lori Beth and I am your host.  We are working our way through the erotic alphabet one letter at a time.  Just a reminder this podcast deals with adult content, so if you don’t have total privacy, you might want to put on your headphones. Today the letter is G and G is for Group Sex.

I get lots of questions about whether being polyamorous means that you have a lot of group sex.  In short, no.  You can have group sex as a one off fantasy event, as part of a non-monogamous relationship style (like swinging), or as part of a polyamorous relationship.   There are as many polyamorous folks who are not fond of kinky sex as there are folks who enjoy it.

Group sex is defined as sex with any more than two people participating.  I include when people are watching as participants as observers always impact upon what they observe.   Enjoying group sexual activities requires a degree of self-confidence and sexual confidence.   If you have no confidence, you are likely to spend the entire time feeling self-conscious and that is not at all fun.

Part of feeling confident when it comes to a group experience can be down to the atmosphere and planning that goes into the experience.  Some environments bring together people who know each other and others bring together strangers.  It takes a different type of confidence to manage an environment full of strangers than it does an environment full of friends and acquaintances.

Dr Katherine Frank spent a year studying all different types of group sex.  She points out in her introduction that images of group sex can be found in Paleolithic cave art and that many societies through the ages have engaged in group sex.

Group sex comes in a variety of flavours:

Threesomes or menage a trois:  This looks like what it says – three people engage in sex with each other.  This can take the form of any mix of genders or sexual orientations.  Having a threesome with another woman is one of the most popular male fantasies.  Single bisexual women are often sought after by couples who want to engage in this type of groups sex and they are called unicorns (because they can be very hard to find).

Couples playing together is the next most common form of group sex.  This is usually done privately.  Couples meet online, through swinging sites and sometimes at swingers clubs.  As long as all members of the couple are excited by the idea, this can be one of the easiest group sex combinations for couples as there tends to be less jealousy because everyone is involved.

Wife swapping:  These parties became popular 1960’s and 1970’s and have had a resurgence since the 1990’s.  It was popular to have the swaps be random so as to limit jealousy and this lead to key parties in which all the car keys were put in a bowl and each man (or woman) chose a key from the bowl and the owner of the key was his partner for the evening.

Swinging:  Not all swingers engage in group sex.  At many swinger’s clubs and parties, you will see a variety of group activities.  Many people enjoy watching at swinger’s clubs and parties.

Dogging:  This is a largely British practice where people meet in large carparks and have sex in cars whilst others watch.  Sometimes spots are simply known as dogging spots – other times groups are arranged via email with some participating and others watching.

Orgies are often seen to be larger groups having sex together or next to each other.   Bathhouses catered primarily to gay men and in the pre-AIDS days, were often anonymous sex.  These days anonymous sex still happens but more people are aware of the risks they are taking and insist on condoms and other barrier methods of protection when engaging in group and/or anonymous sex.

Japan has the record for the largest orgy – 250 couples having sex together.

Orgies are often seen to be more decadent and sometimes negative than group sex.

Gangbangs are usually one person being fucked and many people fucking.  Most often it is a woman who is being fucked and men who are fucking her.  However, not always.

As with all other sexual activity, consent is essential.  In supercharged sexual environments, people can assume that others consent merely by being present.  This is not true.  Being present does not mean that someone has consented to participate in any activities.  Specific consent must be sought and granted in order to involve someone in a group sex activity.

By definition, group sex involves having sexual contact with more than one other person.  This raises the risk of catching sexually transmitted infections.  If you want to lower your risk, use condoms, dental dams, gloves.   Remember that condoms need to be changed each time they enter a different hole.  Don’t go from anus to vagina without changing condoms or you are asking for an infection.  The purpose of the condom is defeated if you don’t change it between people!  Bring lots of supplies to parties even when they say they are supplying them just in case.

Does group sex appeal to you?  If it does, here are some tips to make your first (and next and next) experiences good ones:

First, if you are going to engage with your partner, spend time discussing your desires and negotiating the rules before you engage.  Make sure to cover contact with other partners after the experience, boundaries (eg are there any activities that are off limits?) and how you will manage if the experience is not going well?  Will you have a signal to leave the party?  What will you do to reconnect after?

Second, make sure you know what type of party/experience you are attending?  There are so many different types of parties.  Some have strict rules (There are parties that are female only or male only or queer only for example)  Some have different themes.   Find out the expectations before you get to the event.    Agree what you will do if you are bored or no one is doing anything.  Will you get things started?  If so, how will you do it?

Try lots of different activities:

Daisy chains are great fun because everyone is giving and receiving.  Often daisy chains are all oral sex (as that is fairly easy to orchestrate).

Take a turn as the centre of attention and see how it feels to experience at least a few people playing with you at once.  This can include penetration or not.

Spend your time bringing pleasure to a number of people.  Focus on them and not on receiving.

Be a voyeur for the night.  Confine yourself to watching others and masturbating and see what that is like.

Have some light kink during the sex.  Add in a spanking or have someone be in charge and orchestrate all of the actions.

Try a sexual activity you have not tried before.  Never given a rim job?  Why not try it on this night.    At the same time recognise that you will not be able to do everything and be part of everything.  Don’t worry.  There will be other times!  Stay in the now and enjoy what you are doing.

Remember to pace yourself.  All this activity is very exciting and the temptation is to jump into everything.  Careful or you will burn out or be overwhelmed.

Try out different types of group scenarios and see what you prefer.  Do you like just adding one to your two?  What about swapping with one other couple?  A small party of 15 people or so?  What about a large event of over 100?  There is no right way to do this and what is important is that you have the opportunity to experiment and to decide how you feel after you do.

If you attend a party or a club, remember to observe other people’s boundaries.  There is nothing worse than being interrupted in the middle of some beautiful sex.  If you find it hard to figure out how and when to join in, ask one of the organisers or someone who has been doing this for awhile for some guidance.

Be clear about your boundaries and don’t feel pressured to change them in the middle of a party.  It’s best not to change your boundaries then because you may be doing it as a result of the excitement and feeling pressured and then later be unhappy that you have done so.   This isn’t the only opportunity you will have to engage in group sex.  Stick to the agreements you made with yourself before hand and also if you are part of a couple, the agreements you made before attending.

Rejection can feel awful at a party or a club.  Don’t take it personally.  You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but then not everyone will be yours either.  When you reject someone, do it nicely but also firmly.  Don’t get pressured into doing something with someone if you don’t want to.

Remember that the point is to have fun!  It may feel awkward at first.  Take some deep breaths.  If you aren’t feeling relaxed, find someone to help you with a light massage.    If this first event isn’t for you, head home and chalk it up to experience.  And then decide if it was the event or the whole idea of group sex.    If you are still interested, find another event to try.

Make it a practice of talking to the organisers before deciding to go to an event as the ore information you have, the more likely you are to find an event that will rock your world.

Thanks for joining me this week for the A to Z of Sex. Write in with your questions to drloribeth@atozofsex.com and visit both websites https://www.atozofsex.com and http://www.the-intimacy-coach.com to learn about alternative sexual choices, types of sexual relationships and to learn to sizzle and create that ideal lasting intimate relationship.   For a free 30 minute session with me, head over to https://www.atozofsex.com and click on the button that says ‘book now’.   If you have enjoyed this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes and/or Stitcher and please subscribe! Join me next week when the letter will be H and H is for HIV, Herpes and other Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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